Short intervention program helps overcome fear of injections
For people with an injection phobia, vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is an extremely difficult step. Even the currently omnipresent media images of syringes or injections sometimes drive a sweat of fear on their foreheads, their own vaccination is out of the question. However, in most cases, those affected can definitely be helped to overcome their phobia.
The images of syringes being poked in upper arms are currently present in almost all media and for most people this is not a problem. “But for those who have an injection phobia, it is difficult to bear,” reports the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in a current press release. The phobia could also become a big problem for those affected, especially now when vaccinations against COVID-19 are so important. With a special short program at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry, however, the phobia can be overcome in most cases.
Phobia often arises in childhood
An aversion to syringes is not uncommon and is present in most people. But some are extremely afraid of injections and often blood and / or injuries. The Max Planck Institute reports that a phobia of blood, syringes or injuries usually develops in childhood and, if left untreated, affects those affected over their entire lifespan.
The fears can be so strong that those affected only perceive necessary medical interventions or preventive measures under very high stress or not at all – possibly with corresponding negative consequences for their health.
Children affected far more
The Max Planck Institute estimates the proportion of those affected by injection phobias in childhood and young adulthood at around 20 percent, which would affect one in five of this age group. Over the entire lifespan, however, the prevalence is only around three percent, as the incidence of the disease drops significantly in old age, according to the institute.
Help for those affected
If you want to get your syringe phobia under control, especially with regard to the COVID-19 vaccination, you can find help at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry. The institute reports that “in vivo exposure” is the therapy of choice for blood, syringe and injury phobia. During the therapy, those affected would gradually be introduced to the fearful event and confronted with it.
“When it comes to an injection phobia, those affected first look at pictures and then films of the situation together with the therapist until they are ready to receive an injection or to be piked,” reports the Max Planck Institute. The therapy takes place in around six sessions and can help many people affected.
“Very effective” therapy
“The short intervention is very effective, even if the fear is not completely gone afterwards, vaccinations or other interventions are usually easy to carry out,” emphasizes Professor Dr. Angelika Erhardt, head of the outpatient department at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry. The short program can be completed on an outpatient basis at the MPI, but inpatients can also take part. The Max Planck Institute offers information on treatment and registration on its website. (fp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry: Covid-19 vaccination despite syringe phobia (published February 19, 2021), psych.mpg.de
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.